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Day 59: SLEEP, my pretty, SLEEP. (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Posted Aug 02 2010 1:20am
I have very few memories of taking care of Lauren as a baby. Eric was in medical school then & he would get up, every night, and feed her and rock her back to sleep. It was a difficult time for us - we were new parents, Eric was in school, I was working full time by running a care facility... And I was a walking zombie. My inability to wake up in the night only got worse. I was constantly tired. The minute Eric would come home in the evenings, I would pass out on the couch from fatigue. I was "off duty" and poor Eric had to take the parenting over. I also snored so loudly I could shake the paint off of the walls. Eric would do whatever he could to fall asleep before I did so that he could get some rest before the snoring began. (I have such a selfless husband... I look back on these years and I feel terrible, thinking about how he put up with so much and never complained...)

As the years went on, my fatigue only got worse. Eric suggested that I may have Sleep Apnea but I didn't really want to hear it. In the meantime, I could fall asleep anywhere. I couldn't make it through a television show without falling asleep. If we got in the car to go to Wal-Mart, I'd be asleep in my seat before we got there. On a couple of occasions, I had to drive on short trips and I would have to pull over and take a quick nap before proceeding because I was falling asleep at the wheel. I knew I couldn't put it off any longer... I couldn't continue to deny it... I had a problem and I needed to get some help.

When I went to have my sleep study, I remember being so sad. There's no other way to describe it- I was just sad. I felt like my life had finally come to "this." I had to be connected to all kinds of electrodes and sleep in an unfamiliar place because I was not like everyone else. Sad. I met with the physician a few days later and he said I had one of the worst cases of sleep apnea he had seen. While I was being tested, I was experiencing an average of 130 apneic events per hour.

I remember the doctor telling me I needed to lose weight. I was 244 pounds, that day. I said "I don't have time to exercise." He said "you haven't made it a priority." That comment stayed with me over the last few years because it was true. And that's one of the reasons I'm writing this post, today. We always make time for the things we WANT to do. And listen, I'm not in love with working out. Trust me. I can find a hundred excuses why I CAN'T make it to the gym... but I HAVE to make it a priority. My days MUST be scheduled around my gym time or I'm not going to go. I have a lot to do tomorrow but as I think about what I need to accomplish and in what order, I'm also thinking about where my gym time is going to fit in my day. I really don't have a choice.

And to conclude my sleep apnea story - - there's a HAPPY ENDING! I received my c-pap machine & we haven't been without each other ever since. It was love at first sight! It took me a couple of weeks to get used to waking up in the morning and being... AWAKE. I was so used to fighting for five more minutes of rest and now, all of the sudden, I open my eyes and I'm... refreshed. I felt like I could conquer the world and had more energy then I had in years. It's wonderful. Eric is also more rested now that I'm not snoring, anymore. He didn't realize how sleep deprived he had also become. And when the kids wake up in the night, I pull my mask off, pop out of bed, and act as their mother. That's the greatest reward of all.

If you think that you may have a sleep disorder, please talk to your physician about it. You owe it to your family, your friends, your co-workers, the other people driving in traffic with you, but most of all, you owe it to yourself. Getting the right treatment for sleep apnea will change your life. I promise.

NOW... let's have a "the weekend is over" giveaway! All of this talk about sleep... is making me... want to give you something that is comfy... soft... sleep inducing... And nothing is better, at the end of a long day, then slipping into a bed made with quality sheets. Listen, Hempels tend to be a bit snobby when it comes to our fabric content and thread count. It's true. Today I'm giving away a set of 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets...

The winner may choose the color & size, using the choices provided by the link
If you would like to enter to win these soft, wonderful sheets.... please answer the following question in the comments section of this post
Do you have any specific REQUIREMENTS or RITUALS that help you get to sleep at night? (sorry... I'm a TV watcher... I do set the "timer" so it shuts off. Eric sleeps with his music & head phones EVERY night. Started out with a Walkman, 13 years ago... now it's an iPad...)

I will accept entries through Wednesday, August 4th, at midnight. The winner will be announced on Thursday, August 5th, 2010. Only one entry per person, please... The winner will be responsible for claiming their prize and I will communicate with the winner to solidify what color and size of sheet set.

And, in conclusion, I'm going to bed. It's 1:14AM and I have a BUSY day tomorrow. Goodnight!!

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